Accountability-Central.com AC Alert for October 17, 2011 Fall Foliage Delayed – Why, The Visitors Are Asking?

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Accountability-Central.com AC Alert for October 17, 2011 Fall Foliage Delayed – Why, The Visitors Are Asking?

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:40am

For the Murphy family the trip up into the mountain regions in the Northeastern USA is an annual rite of autumn. Usually around the second week of October they pack a picnic lunch, fill the car with gas and head out for the 3-hour drive which takes them up to the higher inland elevations -- and right into the middle of blazing panoply of colors on the trees. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the fall colors this year: The leaves had just started to turn, and the color show was rather disappointing.  

Visitors/tourists are buzzing about this.  What happened to fall foliage colors, Autumn 2011?  (Not good news for tourism interests.)

This phenomenon is playing out throughout the Eastern US and in other parts of the world, too.  What’s happening here? Is this just a one-year departure from the norm, or is it another sign of major climate change? Lots of people and institutions are beginning to examine this issue. Take a look at recent Accountability Central monitoring results:

  • Researchers at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and at Seoul National University in South Korea used satellites to show the end of the growing season was delayed by 6 1/2 days from 1982 to 2008 in the Northern Hemisphere. 

  • In Massachusetts, the leaves are changing about three days later than they were two decades ago at the Harvard Forest (65 miles west of Boston), according to data collected by John O’Keefe, a retired Harvard professor and museum coordinator who’s continuing to collect data.

  • In New Hampshire, data collected at the federal Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in Woodstock suggests sugar maples are going dormant two to five days later than they were two decades ago.

  • In Vermont, state foresters studying sugar maples at the Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill found that the growing season ended later than the statistical average in seven out of the last 10 years.” (Source: Associated Press)

These developments are just one tiny part of a growing focus on the world's environment, and the relevant issues which remain on the top of the AC radar screen. For the past four decades the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, Australia, and other developed nations have adopted sweeping environmental protection regulations to address the state of their air, water, soil and other natural resources, to protect human life and to protect and preserve the natural environment. 

The imposition of environmental regulations on business, while sometimes having a steep price, has had the beneficial effect of reversing two centuries of the most harmful effects of the Industrial Revolution.  And yet, despite all the progress, the work of protecting and preserving the Earth is never ending.  As the Industrial Revolution spreads to developed nations, there is ever more “environment work” to be addressed.  

The original movement to protect the Earth and its inhabitants in more recent times was the Conservation Movement, stretching back to the late-1800s; then more recently came the Environmental Movement; and now we see the emerging global Sustainability Movement.  The environment section of Accountability Central is devoted to topics environmental, including news, research and insights, commentary and opinion, and more. Here are some recent monitoring excerpts:

Is climate change affecting fall foliage?
(Source: USA Today) Scientists don't quite know if global warming is changing the signs of fall like it already has with an earlier-arriving spring. They're turning their attention to fall foliage in hopes of determining whether climate change is leading to a later arrival of autumn's golden, orange and red hues.

Climate Change Is Shrinking Species, Research Suggests
(Source: NY Times Blog) Climate change’s laundry list of impacts — melting glaciers and rising sea levels, shifts in timing for bird migration and flower budding, a poleward shift of species — just got a new addition: shrinking species. No, not population sizes, but a diminution in the size of the animals by comparison with the pre-global warming days.

Gore links climate change to Great Lakes problems
(Source: Bloomberg Business Week) Is climate change affecting fall foliage?
(Source: USA Today) Scientists don't quite know if global warming is changing the signs of fall like it already has with an earlier-arriving spring. They're turning their attention to fall foliage in hopes of determining whether climate change is leading to a later arrival of autumn's golden, orange and red hues.

Clean-Energy Investment Rises Annual 16% in Quarter, BNEF Says
(Source: Bloomberg) New investment in clean energy rose 16 percent in the third quarter to $45.4 billion, aided by a surge in wind and solar plant financing as low equipment costs drive installations, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Revenues from Offshore Wind Power Production to Reach $104 Billion by 2017, According to Pike Research
(Source: Business Wire-Market Watch) According to Pike Research, investment in offshore wind power will surge in the next several years, resulting in a steep rise in power production revenues and translating into profits for project developers. The firm forecasts that revenue from offshore wind power production will reach $104 billion by 2017, representing a 53% compound annual growth rate over the next six years.

Environmentalists rally to get NJ back in RGGI plan to lower carbon emissions
(Source: Asbury Park Press) Environment New Jersey organized rallies in Princeton and in Rutherford during the past week to try to get state legislators who have voted against the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reverse their votes and work to override Gov. Chris Christie’s August veto of continuing in the program.

On Our Radar: A New Fracking Frontier
(Source: The New York Times) The debate over horizontal hydraulic fracturing has spread to North Carolina, where geologists have identified deposits of natural gas along a 150-mile trench where the state’s coastal plain meets the Piedmont.

China climate goals run against growth: report
(Source: Reuters) China, the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, will meet near-term goals to fight climate change but quick economic growth will mean C02 emissions will be higher than previously thought.

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COMMENTARY

Voices from the Shale - NY Shale Gas Lottery: ‘Hey, You Never Know’® – Part 2
(Source: Mike Benard)
AC featured commentator Mike Benard urges all interested citizens and communities to analyze, then make constructive comments about New York State's proposed method of handling fracking.

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RESEARCH


Report Warns Of Looming Water Crisis In Texas

(Source: Water Online) Is Texas in danger of running dry? According to the 2012 state water plan recently published by the Texas Water Development Board, “In serious drought conditions, Texas does not and will not have enough water to meet the needs of its people, and its businesses, and its agricultural enterprises.”

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The mission of Accountability Central's environment section is to be the clearinghouse for news, opinion, and research on activities which will have a profound impact on our world now and in the future.

We invite you to visit these pages on a regular basis.  We also welcome your input -- send us news, and your views to: news@accountability-central.com.

This is just a sampling of the information in our Accountability-Central.com Alert. Go here for the full text of this alert, and more information on Sustainability, and other Accountability related topics.

 

Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | CSR | Carbon | ESG | Energy | Ethics | Global Warming | SRI | Sustainability | climate change | environment